In the first half of the seventeenth century, Frans Hals was the leading portrait painter in Haarlem. He worked on till a ripe old age, probably due to financial problems. This impressive portrait, for example, was painted when he was about eighty.
By that point, Hals was working more freely than ever before, and he portrayed the man with broad, rapid brushstrokes. The glimmers of light in the dark eyes and the mobile lips lend personality and liveliness to the portrait.
Richard Foster, Clewer Manor, London, 1876-1882; Wilhelm Gumprecht, Berlin, 1882-1918; Paul Herman Heilbuth, Copenhagen, 1918-1922/23; William H. Bixby, St Louis, Missouri, 1922/23-1956; Hans Schaeffer Gallery, New York; purchased with the support of the Friends of the Mauritshuis Foundation and the bequest of Jonkheer J. Loudon, 1957
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